We are living in a world of misinformation. As a result, we have compromised our thinking and let others do it for us.
We listen to opinions and innuendoes like they were facts, when in reality they are propaganda. For some reason we are quick to anger and take offense, quick to believe in every conspiracy theory that comes along, and quick to neglect the truth and our conscience.
Why have we lost our sense of direction and purpose? Why do we no longer champion a cause? Why, come every November, do we neglect our constitutional right to vote and make a difference?
Maybe it’s because if we vote then we are responsible for the outcome. If we vote, we can no longer complain in anonymity at the result. I wonder if this is the time foretold that men’s hearts would fail them? When we would call that which is bad, good, and that which is good, bad?
It’s sad. It’s worrisome. It’s pathetic.
Our country, county, communities and families need us now more than they have ever needed us before. Are we going to be true patriots and rise up to meet the fray? Or are we going to cower in hiding behind our own excuses and personal mediocrity? How can we justify making “much ado about nothing” and then when given a chance to show real initiative, shrink and do nothing at all? It leaves me mystified.
We have a rare opportunity to really make a difference for the Tooele County School District this year. On Nov. 3 we have the prospect of passing a $49 million school bond. This bond will ensure our children will be housed in the most favorable school buildings, provided tools needed to be viable in a competitive world, and provided a quality foundation for gifted instruction.
For years we have heard about the overcrowding of our schools, their condition, their lack of technology, their proximity to our communities, the portable classrooms, the busing, and so on. Our superintendent, school board and staff have a plan, a long-term plan, and this bond will help!
The $49 million bond will provide the school district needed funds to build a new elementary school near Benson Gristmill ($16.3 million), combine East and Harris Elementary schools into one new elementary school ($16.7 million), build a separate addition at Tooele Junior High School ($7 million), purchase properties for a Junior High School in Stansbury, a Senior High School in Overlake and a Transportation Center mid-valley ($4 million), while providing much needed capital improvements at Grantsville High School, Grantsville Junior High School and Tooele High School ($5 million.)
They say in the real estate business: location, location, location. For the Tooele County School District it’s timing, timing, and timing. The school district just made its final payment on a 2005 bond issue this past June, and is going to pay off a 2006 series bond in June of 2016.
Because previously issued debt is being paid in full it allows the district to issue new bonds at a minimal tax increase. The district’s financial advisors have calculated the increase to be up to $18.19 annually on a personal residence valued at $170,000 and $33.07 on a business of the same value. That’s the price of an average family having one meal at Wendy’s.
Our school district has urgent needs. Stansbury has seen significant growth and county forecasts show more of the same. Our elementary schools in Tooele have exceeded their life span and need to be replaced. Tooele Junior High needs to increase its capacity while preparing for additional build out in the future.
Also, Grantsville High School needs a weight room and locker rooms. Grantsville Junior and Senior High Schools need technology improvements. Tooele Junior and Senior High Schools also need technology improvements, while Tooele High School needs a new track.
We also need future growth sites. Prices for land and water are on the rise as aggressive demand continues to drive local real estate markets. It’s only wise and prudent to prepare for future growth by finding secondary school sites and centralized transportation. It’s all in the numbers! Tooele County is growing. In 2010 the population of Tooele County was 58,218. In 2050 it is projected to be 157,821. That is a change of 171 percent.
So, do you want to help our schools solve the problems of today while preventing concerns on tomorrow’s horizon? Do you want to help our children be at the top of their game with a good education, supportive infrastructure, leading technology and safe transportation? Then step out of your comfort zone and go to your voting precincts and vote for the Tooele County School District Bond Measure. And while you’re at it, there are a lot of good men and women running for local offices that can make a real difference in our communities. Vote for them as well. You owe it to yourself, your family and your community to be a true patriot and make a difference. Your children are counting on you! I’ll see you at the polls!
Gumucio is a Grantsville resident and a regular contributor and sports columnist for the Transcript Bulletin.